Nov. 6, 2003
BOCA RATON, FL - Mike Bell scored a game-high 34 points to lead Florida Atlantic University to an 88-44 exhibition victory over Nova Southeastern Thursday night in Boca Raton, FL. Bell, a transfer from Palm Beach Community College, went 14-of-18 from the field, including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. He also made his last 10 shots of the game.
The game was a tale of two halves as FAU led 31-29 after the first half. However, the Owls exploded for a 57-15 edge in the second half to break the game wide open. Bell scored 16 points in the first half before going a perfect 8-for-8 in the second half.
Bell set the tone in FAU's first possession, knocking down a three-pointer from the left corner to put the Owls up 3-0. NSU would battle back for a 6-3 edge two minutes later in what would turn out to be its largest lead of the night.
A lay-up by Jeff Hamilton at the 7:33 mark of the half put FAU on top 27-14 before the Knights would stifle FAU with a 15-0 run over the next five minutes. At that point, NSU held a 29-27 lead before Bell connected on a pair of buckets to give FAU a two-point halftime lead.
The Owls scored the first six points of the second half, and, after a free throw by NSU's Kluis Wimbush, ran off 15 more points to lead 52-30 with 15:14 left in the game. The Owls full-court pressure helped force 35 NSU turnovers, 23 in the second half alone. The defense helped limit NSU to 5-of-22 shooting in the second half. In fact, FAU closed the game on an 18-2 run over the final 9:21.
"We played well with the exception of that seven-minute stretch in the first half," said FAU head coach Sidney Green. "I thought in the second half we played our style of basketball and caused some turnovers."
"Mike (Bell) played well," added Green. "He made shots and made good passes. I was particularly pleased with his four assists. It was good to see the team rally around him."
Jeff Cowans scored 14 for the Owls while Darren Dickerson had 12. For the Knights, Calvin Jenkins led the way with 16 points while Jeff Ardizon had 11.
FAU shot 53-percent for the game compared to NSU's 35-percent. The Owls held an even greater advantage in the second half, shooting 62-percent and holding NSU to 23-percent. The Owls connected nine times from beyond the arc in 25 tries.
Florida Atlantic concludes its exhibition schedule November 11 in a home game against Florida Gulf Coast at 7:00pm.
The Owls begin their regular season November 21 at South Florida.
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